Mrs. Patton

E-News — October 2023

Troopers Down

Joanne Holbrook Patton


Joanne Holbrook Patton. Mrs. Patton passed away recently, and we’ll have a formal obituary in an upcoming E-News. She was the wife of Major General (Ret.) George Smith Patton, the 39th Commander of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, while it was in Vietnam. Mrs. Patton was preceded in death by her husband, and also by her eldest son George Smith Patton, Jr., who passed away earlier this year. Mrs. Patton was a recipient of the Noble Patron of Armor medallion by the U.S. Cavalry and Armor Association, and she was a great friend and supporter of the Blackhorse Association. We send our condolences to her surviving family and friends. Rest In Peace Mrs. Patton.


James D. Randles.


James D. Randles. Note provided by the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

My fellow Patriots, Auxiliary, and Friends,

It is with deep sadness that I inform you of the passing of James D. Randles. He was a true epitome of a dedicated and honorable Patriot, and his loss leaves a void in our hearts. James passed away on September 4, 2023, at the age of 79.

Throughout his Army career as a tanker, James served in various positions in armored and cavalry units. His commitment to his country was evident during his command of G Troop, 2d Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Vietnam, where he was wounded and later evacuated to Madigan Army Hospital in Fort Lewis, Washington.

Having served in numerous posts worldwide, James eventually found his place at the Readiness Group Atlanta, where he made the difficult decision to retire. His remarkable service was recognized with various accolades, including a Bronze Star for Valor, a Purple Heart, two more Bronze Stars, and the Joint Service Commendation Medal. His leadership and organizational abilities were acknowledged through three Meritorious Service Medals and three Army Commendation Medals. James also proudly wore decorations such as the Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and the Vietnamese Armor Badge.

Within the Military Order of the Purple Heart, James ascended the ranks, serving as a Chapter Commander, Department Commander, Region IV Commander, National Junior Vice Commander, National Senior Vice Commander, and finally, National Commander of the MOPH. His dedication to the mission and his fellow veterans was unwavering.

During this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with James’s wife Jerolyn Randles and his daughter Niki Redstrom. They have undoubtedly lost a loving husband and father.

As fellow Patriots, let us take a moment to honor and remember James D. Randles for his extraordinary service, bravery, and unwavering commitment to our nation. His legacy will continue to inspire us as he rests in eternal peace.

Please join me in extending our deepest condolences to James’s family and loved ones. If you would like to send a condolence letter, please let me know, and we will make necessary arrangements.

Yours in Patriotism,
Eric O. Johnson
National Adjutant
Military Order of the Purple Heart

Honoring John Sherman Crow

Brigadier General (Ret.) John Sherman Crow, the 49th Commander of the Regiment, was recently honored at a Houston Texan’s football game. A video of the event can be found at

John Sherman Crow

In addition, here is a great 60 Minutes interview with John Sherman, as well as a documentary in which he is featured. This video can be found at

John Sherman Crow

An Interesting Story about One of our Own

Lauritz Raymond “Ritz” Ingram was a lieutenant at How Battery, 1/11, and he later became the Fulda MILCOM sports director. He then went on to become a lifelong basketball coach, mostly for girls’ teams ( He wrote an interesting book about his time in the Blackhorse and his coaching career: “It’s the Coach’s Fault” ( He has been battling cancer for three years, and he recently posted a YouTube Video about his experience. This is worth a look.

A Glimpse of Blackhorse History
From Don Snedeker

From the Buffalo, NY Courier Express, 13 August 1937.

In 1937, the 11th Cavalry Regiment was entering its second decade at the Presidio of Monterey, California. While still a horse-mounted regiment, the 11th was receiving an increasing number of armored scout cars, such as the one depicted in the photo. These .30 caliber machine-gun-equipped armored cars played an important role in air defense during the 4th Army war games around Monterey and Camp Ord in the late summer of 1937. Note the prominent Regimental Crest on the scout car.

11th Cavalry Regiment

Instant Fellowship in a Far-off Land

I’d like to share that I recently ran into a fellow Blackhorse Trooper, LTC Chris Jurney, during Ulchi Freedom 23 at Camp Humphreys Korea. Even though we served the Regiment during different years, it was an instant connection. I have a group picture of us in front of the 2ID museum. Please see attached; I marked our position in the group picture with red above our heads.


MAJ Jason Valencia

Ulchi Freedom 23

2024 14th Cavalry Regimental Reunion

The 2024 Regimental Reunion will be held in Fulda, Germany (the location of our last regimental headquarters) September 17 – 22, 2024. Here is info:

A slideshow of the last reunion in Germany of the 14th & 11th Armored Cavalry Regiments can be viewed here. A Wikipedia article with slideshow can be found here.

While this is not a Blackhorse Reunion, I suspect there are a few veterans of the 14th in our ranks. Moreover, the link in the above note will take you to a good set of pictures of the last combined (11th and 14th ACRs) reunion in Germany. If you follow the second link, it will take you to a Wikipedia article on Fulda that also has some good information and links about the regiments in Germany (it’s under the 20th Century heading).

A Look at an Important Part of the Blackhorse
Legacy of Service – Samar 1902

Courtesy of Don Snedeker
This is longer than most of our historical vignettes but provides a real insight into the Regiment’s first campaign streamer.

First Squadron in the Philippines, 1902-1903

The 11th United States Cavalry Regiment was constituted on 2 February and activated at Fort Myer, Virginia, on 11 March 1901. Less than a year after being organized, 38 Officers and 1,066 Troopers of the 11th Cavalry, under command of Colonel Francis Moore (1st Colonel of the Regiment), boarded Army transport ships in San Francisco and New York City for deployment to the Philippines. The Regiment arrived in the Philippines in early 1902, where U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine forces were engaged against Filipino guerrillas throughout the archipelago. First Squadron was deployed on the island of Samar, 2nd Squadron in Batangas Province south of Manila, and 3rd Squadron in northern Luzon. Counter-guerrilla operations were conducted dismounted at troop- and platoon-level under the command of sergeants and junior officers. The fighting came to be known as a “2nd Lieutenant’s war.” Samar was considered to be one of the toughest nuts to crack in the Philippines. As one 1st Squadron veteran of the campaign on Samar recalled: “We were transferred to the Island of Samar, early in 1902, and we ran into plenty of trouble from the very moment we landed. We couldn’t use our horses, because it is all swamp and quick sand, so our skirmishes were on foot which placed us at a disadvantage. Samar is about 5000 square miles and I think we chassed those Moros over every foot of it …”

The following are excerpts from a letter to the Army-Navy Journal published in The Hartford Courant newspaper on 5 May 1902. The major referred to in the article is Major (later Brigadier General) James Hickey, the first 1st Squadron Commander.

First Squadron in the Philippines, 1902-1903


First Squadron in the Philippines, 1902-1903










B Troop







A More Modern Note

Insights into the restricted area: 5,300 people hike through the military training area.

Was standing:8/1/2023 4:59 am
By: Rainer Ickler



The hiking days in the Wildflecken military training area are always a special event that attracts the masses. This year, 5,300 women and men were out and about on the three routes offered around Dammersfeld.

Rhön – “Where else do I have the opportunity to hike on paths where entry is otherwise prohibited?” Axel Dehler from Kalbach explains his participation. Most people are like him. The license plates in the completely parked Oberweißenbrunn, where the start and finish were, prove it. The hikers came from Würzburg via Schluechtern to Bad Hersfeld, especially many from the Fulda district.

A total of 5,300 women and men took advantage of the offers, said captain and commander Enrico Langhärig. He was very happy with this number.

Even if the weather didn’t always play along and there were a few showers – the hikers were offered a lot. Right at the beginning it was possible to visit the Schwedenstern. During the Thirty Years’ War, this fortification at the Schwedenschanze was used to monitor the route from Oberweißenbrunn to Gersfeld.

Only a few kilometers farther, the participants pass the area where the village of Kippelbach existed until 1938. In the course of the construction of the military training area, the residents were resettled and the buildings were gradually dismantled or destroyed. Today a memorial stone points to the existence of Kippelbach.

Hikers could get information about duds, which there are in heaps at the military training area, at a stand. A US Army camp has been recreated right next to it. The Americans operated the Wildflecken military training area from 1953 to 1994. Historical jeeps and trucks as well as replica tents with inventory give an insight into how the soldiers used to live during the exercises.



Those who wanted could climb the 910 meter high Eierhauck (in the background). © Rainer Ickler

The fact that the military training area is also an area in which nature is left to its own devices and can develop undisturbed is conveyed at the information stand of the Federal Forestry Office in Reußendorf. Part of the area is core zone. Wolves, mouflons, beavers, black storks and kites live here. The variety of animals and plants is very large here.

The rock formations of the Ottersteine can only be seen when the hiking day passes them, like at the weekend. The same applies to the Dammersfeld with the Dammersfelder Kuppe – at 927.9 meters the second highest mountain in the Rhön, which has not been accessible since the construction of the military training area. There are duds everywhere.

In the 1920s and 1930s, i.e., until the training ground was built, the Dammersfeld with the Wiesenhaus and the Haus Franken was popular with both summer visitors and winter sports enthusiasts. Unfortunately, the Dammersfeld could only rarely be seen on the day of the hike due to the rainy weather, as some participants regretted.

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